Following the United Methodist Church's decision last week to defrock the Rev. Frank Schaefer for officiating his gay son's wedding in 2007, a California-based Methodist bishop has offered Schaefer to join her ministry.
Bishop Minerva Carcaño offered Schaefer the opportunity to become a part of the California-Pacific Annual Conference soon after the church made its verdict last week because he would not retract his stance on same-sex marriage and refused to voluntarily give up his credentials.
"Frank Schaefer chose to stand with Jesus as he extended love and care to his gay son and his partner. We should stand with him and others who show such courage and faithfulness," said Carcaño, in a statement. more >>
Pope Francis has approved the attribution of a "miraculous healing" to the intercession of a New Jersey nun who died in 1927. The miracle was the restoration of a young boy's vision without any medical intervention.
According to the Roman Catholic Diocese of Paterson, N.J., the miracle took place in 1963 when Sister of Charity Maria Augustine at St. Anashaisa School, Teaneck, led the school and parishioners in prayer for the 6-year-old boy through Sister Miriam Teresa Demjanovich's intercession. The boy had been diagnosed with bilateral macular degeneration, which cannot be healed completely. Following the prayer, he regained his sight without medical treatment, surgery or medications.
The approval by Pope Francis opens the way to Demjanovich's beatification. The next step is to determine a date for Demjanovich's beatification, which depends on the bishop of the diocese of Paterson, N.J., which first opened the cause. more >>
A pastor who officiated his son's gay marriage ceremony has been defrocked by The United Methodist Church over refusing to comply with the denomination's rules on homosexuality.
Frank Schaefer of Pennsylvania had his position as a minister terminated by UMC officials after he met with the Board of Ordained Ministry and refused to turn over his clergy credentials.
John Coleman, spokesman for the UMC, told media that Schaefer was told he had to voluntarily surrender his credentials if he could not comply with the denomination's ban on clergy officiating same-sex weddings. more >>
Global membership in the United Methodist Church passed the 12.5 million mark in 2012, reaching a record number for the denomination, according to recently released statistics.
Despite continuing its decline in the United States, the UMC maintained a trend of growth in developing countries, which greatly contributed to reaching the record number.
A UMC spokesperson provided The Christian Post with a statement from Scott Brewer, associate general secretary of the UMC General Council on Finance and Administration (GCFA). "In 2012, The United Methodist Church continued to see its greatest growth centered in Africa and the Philippines," said Brewer. "Although there are also conferences in the United States and Europe that also reported increases…the greatest growth is found in what's often referred to as the Global South." more >>
A United Methodist Church bishop in Texas has ruled that a lesbian's clergy candidacy in the denomination can proceed, reversing a preemptive rejection from officials.
Bishop James Dorff of the Southwest Texas Conference stated Thursday that Mary Ann Kaiser's candidacy could not be removed by the Board of Ordained Ministry without going through the proper process.
"Since the action of the Clergy Session was to uphold the action of the Board of Ordained Ministry, and the action of the Board of Ordained Ministry was not in keeping with the Discipline, I rule that Ms. Kaiser remains a Candidate for Ministry and is due full examination, including an interview, by the Board of Ordained Ministry," stated Dorff. more >>
A congregation that was once the largest Presbyterian Church (USA) church in Texas has been encouraged by its new affiliation with a more conservative body.
Highland Park Presbyterian Church of Dallas, which terminated its voluntary affiliation with PC (USA) earlier this year over theological differences, decided to join the Evangelical Covenant Order of Presbyterians, (ECO), a recently created and more theologically conservative Reform body.
The Rev. Joe Rightmyer, Highland Park's interim senior pastor, told The Christian Post that the relationship between his congregation and ECO has been going strong. more >>